A Socially Effective Red Crescent

Mustafa Tutkun
Turkish Red Crescent Deputy General Manager

Spread all over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had many consequences adversely affecting social and economic life in addition to its impacts on the field of health. As a result, the healing process will take much longer than expected when actors who struggle with the pandemic make plans by ignoring these effects.

Throughout the history of the world, many actors have begun initiatives and carried out activities with different motivations for healing the wounds of society. When looking at the last 30 years in particular, UN organizations and international non-governmental organizations have attempted to bring to the global agenda their search for permanent solutions to humanitarian crises using different approaches. The most important of these initiatives started as the Millennium Development Goals, then were updated as Sustainable Development Goals, and are the goals aimed at improving social living standards. Being promising in terms of solving humanitarian problems and supported by all signing countries, these initiatives require humanitarian organizations to update their way of doing business.

All relief organizations large and small, having previously adopted “giving fish” as an easy path, need to adopt an approach that focuses on “teaching how to fish” and contributes to permanent solutions to problems. This is precisely where producing projects centered on social impact has entered the agenda of relief organizations. The activities made on producing effects that will eliminate or reduce social problems need to prioritize social impact as its result. Social impact scales and reports can be made using the new approaches developed these days; this issue is expected to also remain on the private sector agenda by encouraging social impact investment.

Taking all these into consideration, the Turkish Red Crescent is preparing to implement a relief policy and business model that prioritizes social impact through different studies initiated within its structure. Starting in 2021, the aim is to evaluate all projects that will be implemented and to monitor and measure the results from the perspective of social impact. The plan is to convert the Red Crescent Social Impact Model that was developed for this into a model that can be improved with experience by creating the conceptual infrastructure.

The Turkish Red Crescent may be at the beginning of the journey it embarked on to create a social impact in people’s lives, namely to help people live in better conditions for the rest of their lives, but it is on its way with the belief that the world will become a more livable place through the approaches of all sectors focused on social impact. Otherwise, new pandemics, humanitarian crises, and environmental problems will not disappear from the agenda.

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